Date: May 20, 2022
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Pat McAfee, Michael Cole
We are about two weeks away from Hell In A Cell and I think that means you know what you’re getting. The big story tonight is the Tag Team Title unification match between RKBro and the Usos, which will probably get quite a bit of hype. Other than that, we have a lot more to cover before the pay per view so let’s get to it.
Here is the Bloodline to get things going, with Michael Cole saying that if the Usos unify the titles, it will establish the Bloodline as the greatest faction in WWE history. This has been the latest “NO ONE TALKS LIKE THIS” moment. Roman Reigns tells the fans to acknowledge him and then has Paul Heyman tell the people why this night is so important.
Heyman talks about how the Bloodline is amazing, including Roman Reigns, who is better than Hogan, Austin, Sammartino and Cena. Tonight though, the Usos are unifying the Tag Team Titles and beating the best team on Raw to become the greatest tag team of all time (with all due respect to the Wild Samoans). And that is a SPOILER! Roman tells the Usos to deliver what he wants.
Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Feeling out process to start with Zayn getting the better of things and punching away in the corner. A clothesline lets Zayn choke away on the ropes but Nakamura knocks him off the top. Kinshasa misses though and Sami shoves him off the top and out to the floor as we take a break.
Back with Nakamura fighting out of a chinlock and hitting a kick to the head. Zayn sends him outside though and it’s a Falcon Arrow onto the floor. Nakamura beats the count back in, pulls Zayn outside and posts him, but Zayn beats the count. Back in and Kinshasa finishes Zayn at 10:34.
Rating: C. It’s kind of a far cry from the Dallas masterpiece, but at least these two are getting on television with something to do. Nakamura is being built up again in the singles ranks after the Rick Boogs team was derailed so he very well could be set up for some kind of bigger role. Whatever that might actually be.
Video on the Usos.
It’s time for Happy Talk, with Happy Corbin standing next to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. Corbin has never been happier and we see a clip of him using the trophy to Pillmanize Madcap Moss’ neck. Corbin talks about being sick of Moss and asks who is laughing now. Then Corbin smashes the trophy.
We look at Gunther chopping the heck out of Drew Gulak last week.
Gunther vs. Drew Gulak
We’re joined in progress with Gulak hitting his own chop, earning himself a kick to the face. A series of chops takes Gulak down and the powerbomb finishes at 1:04.
Post match Gunther puts on the Boston crab but Ricochet runs in for the save. Now this has me interested.
Max Dupri, the head of the hottest male modeling agency, introduces himself to Adam Pearce. Adam had no idea Dupri was coming, but apparently he was signed by Sonya Deville. This is awkward, but Pearce can’t quite pronounce Max Du-PRE! That would be LA Knight, because WWE needed to change THE NAME THAT THEY INVENTED LAST YEAR!
RKBro is ready to beat the Usos.
Shotzi and Aliyah argue about not being able to make it out to the ring to face Ronda Rousey last week. Raquel Rodriguez comes in so Shotzi yells at her, even calling Gonzalez an absurd Amazon.
Shotzi vs. Raquel Rodriguez
Rodriguez powers her into the corner to start and then does it again for a bonus. Shotzi tries a choke on Rodriguez’s back but gets thrown down again. A fall away slam sets up the twisting Vader Bomb and the Chingona Bomb gives Rodriguez the pin at 2:55. Mostly a squash.
Xavier Woods isn’t happy with Butch beating Kofi Kingston last week. Kofi is on New Day business this week, so Butch can come see him alone.
Sheamus tells Butch to go take care of Xavier Woods.
Butch vs. Xavier Woods
Butch and company (with the company not here tonight) are now dubbed the Brawling Brutes. They start fast with Woods sending him outside but bringing it back inside, where Butch takes him down by the arm. Woods is right back with the Honor Roll for two but Butch kicks him in the head. That’s broken up and Woods grabs Backwoods for the pin at 3:41.
Rating: C. I’m not sure what WWE’s deal is with Butch not being able to beat Woods, but this is the third time that Butch has lost to him via the same move in less than two months. In theory the feud is going to be wrapped up sooner than later, because both teams need to move way on. This is especially true of Butch and Woods, as I don’t know if I get the thinking here.
Post match the Brutes beat Woods down.
Video on RKBro.
Xavier Woods says this ends next week, because he has a partner to face the Brutes.
And now, the big story, as Michael Cole talks about Sasha Banks and Naomi “letting us all down”. Cole explains the walk out and now the titles are vacant, with a tournament coming soon. Banks and Naomi are suspended indefinitely. So yeah, you know those titles that were barely defendable because there were no teams? Well now it’s TOURNAMENT TIME! Also, WWE acting like changing the card at the last minute is the ultimate sin is pretty freaking funny. WWE would NEVER do something like that.
Oh look: the Tag Team Title unification match is next. Sure how WWE doesn’t advertise that and then turn it into a six man tag.
Raw Tag Team Titles/Smackdown Tag Team Titles: RKBro vs. Usos
Winner takes all and Paul Heyman is on commentary. Orton takes Jimmy down to start but Riddle gets taken down into a chinlock. This lets Cole say the Usos are trying to do what the Wild Samoans never did: unify the Tag Team Titles. That would be really impressive for the Samoans to do as THERE WAS ONLY ONE SET OF TITLES TO WIN BACK THEN! Riddle is whipped HARD into the buckle and we take a break.
Back with Riddle having suffered a bruised hip off that whip but he’s fine enough to keep going. A hard belly to back suplex cuts off the hot tag attempt but Riddle strikes his way over to the ropes for the tag. Orton comes in and starts cleaning house, with the RKO hitting Jimmy. Jey makes the save and pulls Jimmy over for the tag. Orton gets kicked into the corner for the tag back to Riddle, who suplexes various Usos. The super RKO is loaded up but Roman Reigns comes out to grab Riddle. Jey shoves him off the top and it’s a Superfly Splash for the pin and the titles at 11:35.
Rating: B-. RKBro is the only team that could hang with the Usos at this point but there was little reason to believe that the Usos weren’t going to have both sets of titles sooner or later. WWE doesn’t need to have two sets of titles so the Usos having the one remaining set is the right choice. Now just find some teams who could give them a run for their money, which is easier said than done.
Post match the big beatdown is on, with Riddle being choked out. The Superfly Splash through the announcers’ table crushes Riddle and we cut to a fan crying in a great visual. Reigns chokes Orton out too. The Bloodline poses with all six belts to end the show. Cool shot, but three people having six titles doesn’t make me impressed. It makes me think there are too many belts. Also, Riddle vs. Reigns at the pay per view should be good.
Overall Rating: C+. Not too bad of a show here with the Tag Team Title match being the biggest deal. I fully expect a rematch to take place at the pay per view but for now, the Usos having the titles is the way to go. Other than that, I want to see Gunther vs. Ricochet, which is someone stepping up to a bigger level. That’s not a bad show, with some other good things sprinkled in.
Then you have the Banks/Naomi reaction and…that is up there on the all time list of hypocritical WWE responses. Banks and Naomi did indeed walk out, but WWE acting like making some last minute change to an advertised match is this unpardonable offense had me laughing quite hard. It’s weird for WWE to actually do what they say they are going to do from one week to the next, but now it’s horrible for Banks and Naomi to do the same thing? That’s a very WWE reaction and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Shinsuke Nakamura b. Sami Zayn – Kinshasa
Gunther b. Drew Gulak – Powerbomb
Raquel Rodriguez b. Shotzi – Chingona Bomb
Xavier Woods b. Butch – Backwoods
Usos b. RKBro – Superfly Splash to Riddle
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